TEST SITE - wakaama.co.nz

Event management requires good planning and adhering to health and safety. The following information is an outline of some key considerations for managing your event.

For more information on the Waka Ama NZ Sanctioning Process:

Event Sanctioning

Planning your event

Planning is about deciding what kind of event your club wants, be that; a sprint race, a family fun day, a long-distance event etc. There are a number of areas to cover when you are planning an event. Below are a number of simple questions to consider before the event:

Volunteers: Do you have the right people in the right places? Do you have enough volunteers to host the event? What areas need volunteers - car parking, safety boats, registration, etc.

Communication: Can you always communicate with the race officials on and off the water? What channel should the radios be on? Have you notified the coastguard?

Safety: Are the conditions safe? Do you have enough support boats? Are there any other events on that day? Where is the nearest hospital? Do you have someone with a current first aid certificate on-site?

Venue: Is the venue suitable? Will the toilet facilities cater for the number of people? Do you need council/iwi approval? Do you have an indoor area for a prizegiving

Equipment: Do you have a printer and WiFi for the day? Do you have start flags or a loud hailer? Does every support boat have a tow rope - do they know how to use it?

Event organisation: Do you have a registration, safety check and results process


This part of the process is the 'doing'. Ensure you:

  • Make the necessary bookings (venue hire, equipment etc.)
  • Confirm all bookings and arrangements
  • Complete the Waka Ama NZ Sanctioning Process
  • Confirm and allocate volunteers; recruit members from your club so everyone is involved

Waka Ama NZ Sanctioning Process

You are required to complete the following and send to Waka Ama NZ:

  • Operations and Safety Management Plan
  • Event Sanctioning Agreement
  • Event Waiver/s

Event Checklist

This lets people know what needs to be done. Don't forget to put in contact phone numbers for people on the day. See attached an example Event Checklist.

Marketing and Promotion

Promote the event through posters or flyers if relevant, the media and social media are useful avenues for promotion that are free. Tying your event with a relevant community event can help promote and attract potential new paddlers to the club. Also make sure to create an informative pānui. See attached a pānui template.

Event Preparation

On the day of your event remember to:

  • Arrive in plenty of time to set-up
  • Remember to carry out all safety and sanctioning requirements
  • Advise people if there is a change of plan or if you have to revert to the contingency plan because of bad weather
  • Ensure all volunteers and paddlers are briefed before the race
  • Explain emergency procedures
  • Ensure paddlers and spectators are enjoying themselves
  • Remember that the safety of the paddlers is paramount, keep that at the front of mind when making your decisions


Get together and evaluate what worked really well and what could be done better next time. Take the time to review your event and think about any changes that you could make for the next one.

  • What worked well?
  • How could it be improved?
  • Any incidents to report? And debrief.
  • Did the event achieve its goal / purpose?

This is also a great time to acknowledge and thank everyone for their efforts. Don't forget to report back to Waka Ama NZ as part of the sanctioning process.